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Practice Management > Building Your Business > Prospect Clients

11 Useful Tips for Growing Your Business

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Some days, we all need a little extra motivation. You are a self-starter. Keeping these points in mind should help. 

1. To be a million-dollar producer, you need to act like a million-dollar producer.

When you meet with a prospect, your reputation in the firm doesn’t precede you. They don’t know you do more business than anyone else in the office. When you first meet, you are just another well-dressed financial advisor wanting their business.

Lesson: Successful, established advisors don’t have a built-in advantage. They need to establish their credibility just like you. Often, it’s the confidence they radiate that gets the message across. You can do this too.

2. It’s difficult to grow your business when you focus on who you won’t do business with. 

Many people say, “I only do business with people I like.” Other might say, “I only work with engineers.” It’s fine to have a niche, but don’t turn business away.

Lesson: You might come across a prospect with a difficult personality, someone who is willing to do lots of business and not negotiate on price. Based on their personality, you might not choose them as a friend, but it’s no reason to turn their business away. 

3. You can never thank people enough.

This is an expression from the nonprofit fundraising world. People like to be thanked. If you reinforce the behavior you desire, your client will likely repeat it.

Lesson: Thank clients for sending referrals. This doesn’t get stale. When you present their annual or periodic portfolio reviews, thank them for suggesting people you might be able to help. Because of confidentiality you don’t go into details, but thank them for making the effort.

4. Everyone should have the opportunity to say no. 

In prospecting, we often look at a list of friends and think of reasons we can’t ask certain ones for business. Their situation might have improved. They might not be in a position to do business, but do they know someone else who might be interested?

Lesson: Asking them can be perceived as a compliment. They are often flattered. As long as you are polite, no one should take offense.

5. Every day is a blank canvas. 

When business is slow or the market is behaving badly, it can drain your enthusiasm. Each day is an entirely different set of circumstances. You’ve seen the stock market turn on a dime before.

Lesson: Don’t be grumpy at the start of the day. Nothing has happened to spoil it yet.

6. Persistence is a virtue.

I would often use this with prospects and clients. It gets people laughing.

Lesson: Follow-up is a shortcoming of many people in sales. If your prospect owns a business, they likely see this shortcoming in their own staff. You are displaying a skill. It often gets you admired.

7. The New Yorker never leaves you.

This is relevant for advisors who live or have lived in New York City. There’s an excitement and energy. It’s evident in pedestrian traffic flow, riding the subway in rush hour or trying to cross the street in traffic. Everyone had to be someplace else 10 minutes ago.

Lesson: The New York experience gives you a “get to the point” mindset. One of my former clients, a corporate lawyer, explained why he appreciated my style of calling. I would explain why I called, get to the point and end the call. Busy people like that.

8. Be politely persistent.

People usually don’t mind follow-up, if you aren’t pushy. One of the best reasons for calling is sharing new information that could influence their decision.

Lesson: People don’t mind follow-up if you have a good reason. “Politely persistent” was an expression used to describe my approach by people on the receiving end.

9, Each prospect is a spin of the roulette wheel.

This is similar to “Every day is a blank canvas.” Let’s assume you prospect business owners. If six people say no, you might assume you are having a run of bad luck as you contact the seventh. Each time the roulette wheel spins, there’s roughly an even chance of red or black coming up. The previous spins have no impact.

Lesson: Those previous six people who said no didn’t call the seventh, telling them to turn you down too. It’s a new experience.

10. Get unpleasant jobs done early.

Prospecting isn’t popular, but you should do it every day. Calling a client about a problem is no fun either. Unless you address it early, you will find excuses to put it off. You will feel better when it’s behind you.

Lesson: It’s another “blank canvas” example. When you prospect in the morning, your prospect is fresh too.

11. Successful advisors don’t leave anything on the table.

It’s tempting to implement only the parts of the financial plan within your comfort zone. You don’t do much insurance. You tell the client to handle it elsewhere. This is a bad idea for many reasons.

Lesson: There’s business to be done. If you or a colleague is licensed to do it, there’s no reason you should give it away.

These expressions each represent good lessons that are easy to forget.


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